Gravity happens to apply 9.8 M/s/s acceleration on all things. A lead weight and a rubber ducky are equally pulled by gravity. That, my friends, is reality. If you take two people, and drop them off of a tower, they will accelerate at the same rate, reach the same speeds, and land at the same velocity, reaching 0 Miles per hour at about the same time. If one of them is ‘keeping it real’ this will not in any way affect their speed, and if one of them is completely delusional, they will be equally impacted. So to start with, take any notion of ‘keeping it real’ and toss it out the window. 9.8 M/s/s.
Now, this world has a fetish for identity, a quest in the west to find the true self and be the most authentic person possible. True to you, as it were. On the surface this sounds great, but that’s a really dangerous path that can lead to some insane conclusions. For starters, let’s begin with the physical sense of being a creature whose genetics have scientifically imprinted a sense of true self in the physical make up of our beings. Sounds pretty authentic, right? Yeah, until a kid has depression or manic phases or a birth defect. While not all mental conditions are bad(as a teacher I am always concerned when autistic students are criticized for ‘not talking’ because frankly, I talk wayyy too much). Or, to go completely off the rails, what if you were born with an inherent desire to become a serial killer? The idea of picking up a hitchhiker on the side of the road and putting them in three different trashbags hits a deep sense of purpose in your life that sincerely agrees with every cell of your body? Not good amigo.
So after trashing the physical sense of identity(I realize I left out physical form, which is a good way to identify true self until you get into a serious car accident), let’s set our guns on the purely psychic sense of identity. Identify, if you will, yourself as a champion weightlifter. Tell yourself that you are the strongest person on earth, do it for a whole week, look in the mirror and think, “I can deadlift 1,000 pounds” every single day. Then after week of this, go to the gym, put about half a ton of plates on a bar and try to lift it up. There is obviously some connection between an authentic true self and physical form.
That or there is a sense of identity that exists completely disconnected from both our physical and psychic sense, which would basically be God, but we don’t have time for that right now, we’re looking at the individual self.
How do we determine the fact that we have parts of our identity that are entirely but not entirely of our physical form? You could move to Sedona Arizona, eat some cactus or lick a jungle toad and document your findings. Maybe look at circumcision, where you get your dingy whacked in order to demonstrate a separation from the normal way of the world. Baptism also works, in an immersion of the senses under water, a change in pressure and deadening of sound as a symbol of rebirth into a new form(even when the old one is essentially unharmed, unscathed, or different. One of the easiest ways would be to review thousands of religious texts over the years and look for a reasonable explanation. Obviously Arjuna and the Archer come to mind. The story goes that Arjuna shows up to three people and hands them a bow and arrow, commanding each one to attempt to strike an eagle on top of a post through the eye with an arrow. The first man takes the bow and Arjuna asks what he sees. The man begins to describe the sky, the weather, the flow of the wind through the grass. Arjuna just takes the bow and asks the next man, the fellow talks about something else but I forgot because I didn’t get an A in that class, and the final guy is asked what he sees, and he states, “the eye of the eagle” and Arjuna says, “take the shot.”
Failing that, the easiest metaphor would be a spin on a highway. When you are driving down the highway, and an obstacle such as a baby or 1998 Mercury Grand Marquis pops up, you need to get out of the way, and this can cause your vehicle to lose traction with the road and begin to spin. Now, assuming our goal is to recover from this spin and get back on track, we have to figure out how to deal with the physics of the world around us in a way that we can handle in a psychic manner to impress upon the forces we actually have control to get back on track.
Scientists have told me the worst thing to do is slam the breaks. That is, in a moment where your personal identity is in tail spin, attempting to toss a wrench in every moving process can lead to disaster. Likewise, the brutish attempt to force yourself out of the problem by slamming the accelerator and strong arming the wheel all the way over can lead to over correction or equally disastrous results.
The way to recover from a skid, according to the experts in the world, requires 2 steps. First, pick a distant target on the horizon that will be the point of reference. For us in our attempt to be a pure authentic self, the goal here makes perfect sense. What is the reference point? What year is it? 2017? The time is based on distance from the death of Christ. Not to be preachy, but Jesus is a reference point that has not changed in about 2017 years. So you pick a reference point that is not going to change so that you can gauge the effects of your spin. From here, with your focus on the unchanging reference point, you can being to take stock of your movement in the moment of Crisis(Christis, hahah, get it?) and in the vehicular analogy, determine if your front or back wheels have lost traction.
In an authentic self way, lets just say, “has our physical or psychic self lost traction?” Are we getting too fat? Are we getting too obsessive over our keto diet and Amazonian Berry Juice? Do we have enough sleep? In this case, the solution is to release a little bit of control, ease off the gas and transfer a bit more weight to the front of our vehicle, the mind. A bit more time organizing the headspace and point it to our reference point will get us on track. The alternative is our headspace going crazy. Overthinking? Hyper-Analyzing, bringing in too much baggage from that time Stacy dumped you in middle school and it’s just like what Lucrecia is doing now, or even being so manic about the next big thing that in our effort to stay positive we’re just jumping from one positive sugar rush to the next? Maybe it’s time to take stock and reposition ourselves, go for a walk outside, and move closer to a calm peaceful center.
The idea of an authentic self may be possible alone, but the studies of the effects on prisoners from solitary confinement seem to indicate isolation has damaging effects. Now, I’m not sure pet cats count as people, but if the goal is an authentic self, it seems like the surest way to get there is to spend at least a little bit of time organizing your trip there with some people who have the same destination, and in the moment of a spin, the same reference point. 9.8 m/s/s.